Dolphins in the Ganga and its tributaries nearly doubles in 3 years

News this week
The Gangetic Dolphin (Source: Arati Kumar Rao) The Gangetic Dolphin (Source: Arati Kumar Rao)

Ganga and its tributaries, except the Ramganga show increased dolphin numbers

Per Census 2015 conducted by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) India, the Ganga and its tributaries have 1,263 Gangetic dolphins in Uttar Pradesh. The number of the National Aquatic Animal in the state has increased from 671 dolphins, counted in the last survey conducted in 2012. However, not a single dolphin was spotted in the Ramganga river, which can be attributed to the pollution and low water level in the river. On a related note, India is to have its first community reserve in West Bengal for protecting the endangered Gangetic dolphin. 

60% houses of mid-size cities not connected to closed drainage system

Mid-sized cities, which are those with less than a million population, discharge wastewater into the open drains according to a report prepared by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). Out of the 416 such non-metropolitan cities, nearly one-fourth have less than 20% households that have wastewater outlets connected to the closed drainage system. Also, there are only eight cities across the country that discharge 80% wastewater into closed drains, of which Mysuru tops the list.  

16% of the country is drought-prone: Report

According to the Centre's report titled 'Drought, Crisis Management Plan-2015', 16% of the country and 68% of the sowing area is subject to drought. Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra, Telangana and Karnataka are the states that experience drought twice in a period of five years. The report further states that the failure of the South-West monsoon is the major cause of drought, and the main indicator of the possibility of drought is insufficient rainfall in the month of July. 

Uttarakhand floods could be the cause of decreasing mental health in the state

The data compiled by the Uttarakhand Health Department has observed that the number of patients with severe mental disorders have increased from 60 in 2012 to nearly 7,000 this year. The reason for this could be the devastating floods of 2013 that killed thousands and displaced lakhs. Along with floods, other factors attributed to the mental health are hectic lifestyles, increasingly disrupted family structure and growing unemployment among the youth.

Kolhapur district wins accolade for turning 571 villages open defecation free

The Maharashtra Governement has awarded Rs 10 crore to the Zilla Parishad of Kolhapur for making 571 of the 1,029 Gram Panchayats open defecation-free (ODF). Overall, out of 27,831 Gram Panchayats in the state, only 3,334 have attained the ODF status. Under the Swachh Bharat Campaign, an individual who constructs and uses toilets receives a sum of Rs 12, 000 from the Government. 

This is a roundup of important news updates from October 6 - 12, 2015. Also read last week's policy matters update.

Lead Image Source: Arati Kumar Rao

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